No.1 travel guide for Belgium; dedicated to Belgian beer and food culture.

Brasserie de Silly, it's a family brewing affair...


Email  •  Print

Author: Erik Verdonck / Published: 2016-05-19 13:27:19 +0200 / Last Updated: 7 months ago

Sotch de Silly, Brasserie de Silly Scotch de Silly
© BeerTourism.com


SILLY - At Brasserie de Silly, Lionel Van der Haegen and his cousin Bertrand are following in their fathers’ footsteps. They divide the work equally. Lionel manages the company with its 21 Lionel Van der Haegen, Brasserie de Silly Lionel Van der Haegen
© BeerTourism.com
employees and is in charge of sales; Bertrand is responsible for production.

Bertrand joined the company in 2002 and Lionel came on board in 2007.

Both had already gained extensive experience, as is customary for brewers’ sons.

It is Friday afternoon. The working week is finished and eight brews have been produced.

The brewers take a well-earned rest at the bar of the Al Tonnel café-restaurant in Silly’s village square.

It is the turn of Baudoin Van Tiegem, the most senior of the group, to buy a round. Baudoin started work at the brewery in 1968.

In those days brewing was a very physical trade. Baudoin and his colleagues carried 80-kilo bags on their backs.

Lionel: “I remember that we received an urgent order in the Christmas period. Baudoin just carried on brewing despite the holidays. He works incredibly hard.”

I ask him whether the beers have changed a lot from those days. “The quality is more consistent,” Baudoin responds whilst taking a sip of his pils.


Silly Saison - Brasserie de Silly Silly Saison advertising
© BeerTourism.com


Not Just a Standard Range

Nowadays the brewery is also much bigger. Brasserie de Silly now produces 1,800,000 litres per annum. “When I joined the company, it was 800,000 litres,” Lionel remarks. Pink Killer- Brasserie de Silly "Pink Killer"
© BeerTourism.com

The beers of Brasserie de Silly are becoming increasingly available in Brussels, Doornik and Liège.

Their brews are also sold at several music festivals, including Esperanza in Floreffe.

“Not only has the Belgian market grown, exports have taken off as well,” Lionel says.

“France, Italy, the USA and also Russia are important markets for us now."

"As a Belgian brewer, you start off abroad with the standard range of blonde, double and triple. But they also expect more niche beers.”

The modern beer drinker wants variation in the glass. He does not always wish to drink the same beer but changes his preferences depending on the occasion, the food he is eating, or the company he is in.

The Silly range has been expanded substantially. It now includes 18 beers, from an organic pils, a blonde, an amber, a dark, a saison and a scotch to abbey beer, fruit beer (Pink Killer) and an IPA (Green Killer).


Brasserie de Silly, Silly beer Part of the Silly beer range
© BeerTourism.com


Tradition First

Bertrand: “There is always a link with tradition. Take our new Silly Sour for example. This one goes back to the roots of our saison, first produced in 1850. We were blending young beer with Brasserie de Silly, Silly beer Brewer Bertrand
© BeerTourism.com
soured, barrel-matured beer in the same way back then".

"The dark colour comes from the toasted malt.”

The scotch goes back to the First World War when Scottish soldier Jack Peyne taught the local brewers the secrets of producing the real scotch ale his regiment craved.

A wood-matured limited edition has now been introduced.

Peyne stayed on in Silly after the war and worked in the brewery for many years.

When Silly creates a Green Killer IPA – originally a British style - it will have Belgium stamped all over it.

It is a balanced beer despite the extremely strong hop flavours (65 EBU – European Bitterness Units, an English bitter might have a score around 30).

Tastes evolve all the time. Amber beers such as the Super 64 are under market pressure in Belgium, as are white beers. However, this very same white beer is proving very popular in Asia.


La Cave A Bières, Mons - Brasserie de Silly La Cave A Bières, Carrefour Mons
© BeerTourism.com


Off to Work We Go

“You have to explore the world and feel the pulse of the beer drinker,” Lionel says. “We have to know how people drink beer in Atlanta or Shanghai.” And Lionel turns these words into actions. Brewing at Brasserie de Silly Straight from the tank..
© BeerTourism.com
He travels globally, meeting importers and distributors in person.

Brasserie de Silly recently opened the first Belgian – and European – microbrewery inside a supermarket.

Since December 2015, La Cave A Bières has been operating within Carrefour Les Grands Prés in Mons (Bergen).

Every Wednesday and Friday Guillaume Legrain brews here, producing around 50,000 litres a year.

Three-quarters of production are sold by Carrefour, and the remainder is destined for local cafés and restaurants.

The blonde Chambourlette that flows out of the tanks here pays homage to local folklore. At the time of the city’s colourful Ducasse festival, the locals battle a mythical dragon.

If you are from outside the city, you are nicknamed a chambourlette.

This slightly hopped, rather light beer is brewed in-store before departing for the brewery where it is bottled and continues to ferment.

Establishing an in-store brewery turns out to have been a smart move. It is an additional attraction for shoppers - they can buy a beer that is brewed in front of their eyes and by a brewer who has a presence in the heart of the store.


Visit Brasserie de Silly

Brasserie de Silly
Rue Ville Basse 2
B-7830 Silly
Belgium

Website: www.silly-beer.com
Facebook: Brasserie de Silly


Recent Blog Posts

Val-Dieu, celebrating 800 years of Belgian beer culture
VAL-DIEU - Those monks certainly picked some beautiful spots for their abbeys. The rumble of the busy motorway lies far behind me as I swap the flat northern Belgian landscape for the gently rolling ... [ read more ]
Belgian beer culture recognised by UNESCO as Intangible Cultural Heritage
BRUSSELS - “We have won the World Cup!” exclaims Sven Gatz, Minister of Culture for Flanders. In his former role as Managing Director of the Federation of Belgian Brewers he immediately lent his ... [ read more ]
Chimay Grande Réserve Vieillie en Barriques 2016, a touch of wood
CHIMAY/COGNAC - Chimay Bleue stands out as a classic amongst Trappist beers. Nevertheless, its brewer continues to break new ground. The first ‘limited edition’ Chimay Grande Réserve Vieillie en Barri ... [ read more ]
Brussels Beer Challenge 2016: Belgium holds its own in the beer world
BRUSSELS - For the fifth running of the Brussels Beer Challenge the organisers selected a location steeped in history and prestige. After touring from Brussels to Liège, Leuven and Antwerp, ... [ read more ]
The Belgian Beer Book: Tapping into Belgian beer culture
BELGIUM - How do you write an unbiased review of a book that you yourself have written, pouring your entire soul into it? I’ll immediately give up on that impossible task and instead I’ll offer you a ... [ read more ]

Comments



SHARE:
 



BLOG

POSTS
Chimay Grande Réserve Vieillie en Barriques 2016, a touch of wood

CHIMAY/COGNAC - Chimay Bleue stands out as a classic amongst Trappist beers. Nevertheless, its brewer continues to break new ground. The first ‘limited edition’ Chimay Grande Réserve Vieillie en Barriques saw the light <... [ more ]

The Belgian Beer Book: Tapping into Belgian beer culture

BELGIUM - How do you write an unbiased review of a book that you yourself have written, pouring your entire soul into it? I’ll immediately give up on that impossible task and instead I’ll offer you a peek behind the ... [ more ]

Val-Dieu, celebrating 800 years of Belgian beer culture

VAL-DIEU - Those monks certainly picked some beautiful spots for their abbeys. The rumble of the busy motorway lies far behind me as I swap the flat northern http://belgium.beertourism.com/about-belgium/geograph... [ more ]

Scotch-de-silly-225

More Beer

Scotch de Silly is a beer with a powerful echo of World War I, tracing its origin to the turmoil of that conflict. At that time, outside of the city of Silly, a regiment of Scotti... [ more ]

Beer Tourism Newsletter Signup

Enter your name and email address on the right and click "SignUp" to join.

Name:
Email:
TWITTER
    FACEBOOK